Thursday, January 24, 2013

Visiting Madeira

We spent a wonderful week in Madeira over Christmas.  It was great to leave behind a very wet Britain and spend a week in warm sunshine.  It very much reminded me of the Christmas holidays I had as a child.  Would you like to join me on a tour of Madeira?

This was the view from our hotel room

The pool area was located on the opposite side of the road but was easy to access via the hotel's own walkway/bridge over the road and elevator (in this white 'tower').

The pool area

Beautiful sunset at the pool

The hotel was within walking distance of Funchal town centre

Streets of Funchal by day


By night

We had a fantastic time on the jeep safari - here we are looking out of the top of the jeep, cameras at the ready!

We went on some extremely  narrow, steep and positively dangerous roads - often at high speed - definitely not for the faint hearted!  But views and scenery were spectacular.

Steep roads...

Dirt roads...

Spectacular views... this is looking down on Porto Moniz

Look at the colour of that water!

There were nativity scenes everywhere in Madeira, a beautiful and constant reminder of the reason for season.  This one on the beachfront at Porto Moniz.

Next stop was Cabo Girao where the viewing platform

has a glass bottom!  That's my son's shoes!

Looking down on the clouds...

Next stop Camara de Lobos

The next day we headed for Pico do Arieiro stopping briefly to take pics of Funchal.  Overnight a cruise ship had arrived in the harbour.

Through the forest...

Heading towards that white dome on the hill which is Pico do Arieiro, the third highest peak in Madeira.

That dome actually looks like this!

Stunning views

Then onto Ribeiro Frio

Where we sampled Madeira's signature alcoholic drink - poncha - at Mr John, who apparently makes the best poncha in Madeira, well according to the sign on the wall!
Way too strong for me. Note our jeep parked right outside Mr John!

For those not into poncha there is a trout farm there too


I hope our guide didn't have too many ponchas, look at the road ahead!!

Just imagine living in that house!

The road into Santana

Traditional houses at Santana

Some in better condition than others

So cute!

A beautiful garden

Nativity scene in Santana

Next stop Faial

where we had lunch at the restaurant below.   The inside of the building is part cave...look closely at the rock on the left side of the building and behind it!

Along the way we passed this - I love this driveway!

When we got back to Funchal we noticed another cruise ship in the harbour

A very large one!

The night of the 23rd December was the 'all night street party', I'm not sure what the traditions are behind this event but our guide (and a few other locals) said that we had to go.  If any Madeirans stumble upon my blog perhaps you could shed some light on it for me?  Young and old turned out and the atmosphere was lovely.

Food and drink stalls were everywhere. 

Wearing of a Christmas hat is encouraged!

Part of the traditions are the fruit sellers

I believe the reason behind this was because years ago the shops would close over the festive period and this would be the last opportunity to stock up on fresh produce.  But as our jeep guide told us, not many are interested in buying fruit on a night like this!

Plenty of entertainment

whatever your music tastes!

Tired and weary we headed back to our hotel - we never managed to stay up all night!

A new day and a new adventure - the cable car to Monte

Would you like to live in this house so close to the edge?!!

Almost at the top

As this is a rather l-o-n-g post I think I had better end it here and continue in another post.  Thank you for joining me thus far, I've loved re-living it whilst preparing this post,  I hope you have enjoyed your trip so far!



Patsy Long said...

Amanda, your trip looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing the photos. One question - photo 61 - what are the rectangle holes in the middle of the street?

Patsy Long said...

Amanda, your trip looks fantastic and so much fun. Thanks for sharing the photos. What the the big rectangle holes in the middle of the street on photo 61?

Amanda said...

PL - it's the river!